First results of project work in schools and communities

(March-April 2010)  

Inguna Irbite,

Project cooperation coordinator


At the project “Schools as satellites in development education” opening event in Winter school in March we have spent four wonderful days together, filled with bright emotions, important knowledge and making new friends. We parted with a wish to bring all new feelings and knowledge to those who stayed at home and to share our knowledge. Still we felt some concern we did not express in words on whether we will able to do that, have enough time, willing, energy and commitment in everyday school activities to spread ideas of development education. After our meetings in regional workshops we could proudly say that all concerns had no basis – only in a month teams of nine project member schools could make a lot.

The aim of this material is to summarize experience of local activities of school teams during the first month of project implementation. The contribution is developed by virtue of information submitted by school teams at local workshops.

We would like to thank coordinators of school teams for a thorough summarizing of information, to pedagogues for professional and responsible filling out lessons probation surveys. Our special credit is to teachers who enclosed to probation surveys samples of their students works – quotes, drawings, photos and other evidences of their work!

During the period between Winter school in March and regional workshops in April team members conducted more than 80 lessons and trainings in their schools, involving about 1360 schoolchildren in total. Most popular development education topics at the lessons included migration, measurements of ecological footprint and nature protection. Trainings about all issues of DE discussed at Winter school were conducted. Many pedagogues have shown creative approach to Winter school materials and applied them to specifics of their subjects, resulting in development of new lessons. Mostly lessons have been conducted by pedagogues involved in project. Still it’s a positive fact that in many locations DE lessons and trainings were conducted under management of project schoolchildren and other school pedagogues. In total topics of DE was “useful” for 12 different subjects, but mostly for natural sciences, class teachers, geography and social sciences. Most project teachers have used the opportunity to develop integrated trainings applying skills and knowledge taken from several subjects.

All teams informed their colleagues at school and local community about their engagement in project and experience during Winter school. Information was shared during week of subjects, at pedagogical council meetings, parents’ meetings, meetings of methodic associations, regional and city teachers’ conferences, meeting of school parents’ council, in works with high school students and other events. Most teams have successfully intrigued their listeners both with information and practical activities of development education – measurements of ecological footprint, demonstration of movies and discussions. In total these informative events involved more than 2000 participants.

In many locations a local partnership has been established successfully, with purpose of relating the development education with everyday life and resolving local issues. School teams have met deputies and professionals from local municipalities to offer their knowledge, ideas and time in improving local environment, fostering public awareness and other events. Many teams have invited school graduates to share their experience in development education gained abroad. Project has been widely represented in local press – school, city and regional newspapers, and over Internet.

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